As shopping shifts to e‑commerce, how do brands gain and retain loyal consumers on leading e‑retail platforms?
The fifth in our eStoreAcademy webinar series includes valuable learnings from Coca-Cola and Bacardí about tactics they are using to attract new shoppers and maintain loyalty on e‑commerce platforms such as Walmart and Amazon. Speakers for the session include Simon Miles, Global Customer Director, Walmart International at Coca-Cola, Tjalling Simoons, Marketing Director, Bacardí - Germany & Alps, and Marta Lacka, Global Innovation Director at eStoreMedia.
Coca-Cola’s Simon Miles, who is a regular contributor at e-commerce events and conferences around the world, delivers an overview of how the beverage manufacturer adapts its shopper acquisition tactics based on analysis of consumer behavior, and understanding the functionality of different online retailers. He points out that while grocery e-commerce has expanded as much in the past 12 weeks as it had in the previous 12 years, most of the growth involves consumers shopping online for the first time in their lives. The challenge, he says, is helping these new shoppers engage with the process to become loyal online consumers.
Covid-19 e-Commerce legacy
It’s a challenge that Coca-Cola is meeting head-on. “We've been thinking about the sort of legacies that might come from the [e-commerce] spike, and what we should focus on to make sure we capitalize on the opportunity,” Miles explains.
In terms of shopper behavior, the use of mobile devices has continued to grow since the start of the year, and search patterns are also evolving. To adapt, Coca-Cola has invested in mobile-ready content, such as hero images that standout and deliver more information on a small screen format. It has also revised product descriptions on e-retailer landing pages, in reaction to changes in how new shoppers use search, with increased use of ‘category terms’ rather than ‘brand terms’.
His presentation provides a useful overview of some of the tactics Coca-Cola is using in collaboration with online retailers to increase basket sizes, including offers, recipes and smart selling. You can see the full webinar recording for more detailed information and tips.
Trial in a time of Covid-19
Bacardí’s Tjalling Simoons tells us how the drinks manufacturer circumvents one of the significant challenges presented by lockdown – how to get new product samples into the hands of consumers for product trials? In the past, like most product manufacturers, Bacardí would distribute samples to commuters at train stations and other public transport hubs. However, with lockdown this was no longer an option.
In any case, according to Tjalling, the shotgun approach was never a perfect solution, particularly for a company that sells alcoholic drinks. Therefore, even before Covid-19 Bacardí was looking for alternatives. In the webinar he describes online trial and sampling, carried out in conjunction with Amazon, that delivered outstanding results in Germany and the UK.
The first was a miniature pack, with three different single malt whiskies that also came with the opportunity to join a live tasting with one of Bacardí’s master blenders. It generated more than 27,000 live views, an over 500% increase in click-throughs, and a 29% sales uplift. And, because it was a new concept, it also generated 128 pieces of media coverage. A second trial, for the launch of Bacardí Cuatro using Amazon Alexa voice activation, was equally successful.
Bacardi’s results are all the more impressive given the sheer number of choices consumers have, and the volume of decisions they are faced with every hour of the day. An average person makes as many as 35,000 decisions on a daily basis, according to eStoreMedia’s Marta Lacka.
Her contribution focuses on new and powerful technology - e‑commerce listening - for discovering previously hidden consumer needs, wants and desires. She says, traditional tactics for understanding consumers, such as surveys and focus groups are fundamentally flawed. Social listening, which may have worked a few years ago, is also limited as paid social media influencers distort results.
With ‘e-commerce listening’ however, brands can acquire more accurate data about consumer demand, by analyzing authentic shopper comments and behavior, rather than by asking hypothetical questions. She outlines a case study involving Gillette, which turned to eStoreMedia for help with planning a new mid-market offering. Through analysis of over one million reviews on Amazon in the US, eStoreMedia was able to identify brand strengths and weaknesses, and benchmark them with current and future offerings.
eShopper Review Analysis by eStoreMedia identified unmet consumer needs, which fed into the development of a new product, the Gillette Mach3 Start Razor with Aqua-Grip Handle. The product was launched in 20 markets, and following its initial success it has since been made available globally. In her presentation, Marta explains how the technology works to deliver unexpected shopper insights, hidden in millions of online reviews, to support product innovation and build winning brand strategies.
Thanks to our guest contributors Simon Miles, and Tjalling Simoons, and our moderator, Marc Baker, Tyde.